TEN admits Wake Up “should have known” about Vilma’s Labor links

2014-05-14_1119.jpgTEN has admitted it got it wrong yesterday when Brisbane pensioner Vilma Ward questioned Tony Abbott, because it failed to declare her links to Labor.

Yesterday’s interview in which she told Abbott she had “never heard of such rubbish in all my life” attracted widespread media coverage.

But it subsequently emerged her links to the Labor Party, including being a former Labor Party branch secretary and being married to the secretary of the Transport Workers Union.

A TEN spokesperson told TV Tonight that Wake Up got it wrong.

“Network TEN has reviewed the Wake Up segment in question. Wake Up should have known and disclosed Vilma Ward’s links to the Labor Party,” they said.

While Vilma never actually misled anybody.”It’s got nothing to do with who I vote for, and who I don’t vote for,” she told the PM.

But the show should have been aware of any allegiances in sourcing its talent, and indeed, declaring them to viewers. Otherwise it risks ‘ambushing’ the interviewee, given Politics was the subject at hand.

Wake Up, which has been languishing in the ratings, believed it had a coup yesterday and sent the clip to media. It certainly scored plenty of coverage.

But social media must be handled delicately or risk backfiring. The breakfast show can’t afford to be making mistakes when it is trailing its competition by so much. It comes at a time when there have been persistent rumours that the show is rife for the chopping block.

That TEN is prepared to let the show wear the brunt of this mess tells us much about where it sits under the current regime.


  1. HardcorePrawn

    I find it interesting to note that Abbott seems to appear with some regularity on the least watched breakfast show.
    Is he hoping that his appearances would go unnoticed?

    As others have said here, it matters not that Vilma has or had links to the ALP and Unions, what matters is that she voiced the concerns of many in her situation.
    For those opinions to be laughed at by the PM, and for him to say that she didn’t vote for him – as if that somehow negates her opinion, or diminishes his duty to her… Well, is he a PM for all Australians, or just the ones that voted LNP?

  2. Every man & his dog knows Vilma is Labor. She was a Labor councillor on the Brisbane City council & her husband was high up in the Union movement in Qld for decades.
    Despite her affiliations she just told Tony the truth. Good for her.

  3. once-upon-a-time

    This whole Vilma ” incident????” has now morphed into an entirely different discussion, and now has little to do with Network Ten other than it happened on their network, on one of their channels, on one of their channels, and the now real.’Devil in the Detail’ emanates from this supposedly anonymous spokesperson ( did he disclose his role, or disclose his sources/supervisors and did they declare their allegiances prior to issuing this statement)

    This is now possibly reverse censorship, and almost close in being its very worst.

    What if a pro conservative voter/staffer/or family member had done the same to Ms Julia Gillard, when she was PM?. perhaps even just like the many ambushes she faced. where were these same claims back then.

    I’m all for such declarations, just as long they are complete and applied ‘ to everybody’

  4. I really enjoy Wake Up. It had some issues to start but Tarsh & James make me laugh every morning! I hope it isn’t heading for the “chopping block”

  5. It does not matter who she votes for, she is a voter in pain.

    Seriously, do we want talk about all these “inquiries” and “studies” written by Liberal Party Staffers (Audit anyone?)

    Simply dismissing her because she does not agree with you is American politics, call them a name and ignore any concerns.

    How about we discuss the pain the Government is putting on the people whilst cutting taxes and regulation on corporations.

    No, we will discuss how someone votes instead………………

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